Noted 2016 Artist Spotlight: Fanciful Fiction Auxiliary

This year, ahead of Noted, Bela Farkas interviewed six festival artists. In this second instalment, he chats to Fanciful Fiction Auxiliary’s Carody Culver and Jackie Ryan. Jackie writes and designs the Aurealis Award-winning comic book series ‘Burger Force’, and Carody is the Assistant Editor of Peppermint magazine.

What is Fanciful Fiction Auxiliary?

A comedy writing project in which a loose collective of established and emerging writers adopt delusional alter egos through which they channel the power to come up with writing so bad it’s good. Think unashamedly purple prose, plot twists so illogical they’re more like somersaults, forests of double entendres, and a steadfast commitment to keeping a straight face – these characters truly believe in the literary worth of what they’re inflicting upon their audiences.

Image: Fanciful Fiction Auxiliary

Image: Fanciful Fiction Auxiliary

How did the FFA concept come about?

Jackie’s always been fascinated by ’80s melodramas such as Lace and Return to Eden, so creating the FFA was a chance to merge this unholy love of polyester, lip gloss, shoulder pads, big wigs and bigger wind machines with writing and performance.

How did you come up with the characters you play in the FFA?

All we had to do was turn our egos loose. Coming up with ridiculous pseudonyms aided the transformation—Jackie is Valkyrie Cul de Sac, our preening and overbearing leader, and Carody is Tuesday Thatch, a tweed-clad librarian who gets strangely turned on by the Dewey Decimal System.

What do you love most about live performance?

The opportunity to model our unwieldy collection of loud outfits. It’s also fun to see how audiences react to our crazy stories.

What do writers gain from the experience of playing characters they create?

The chance to experiment with the absurd under the protection of a pseudonym and a huge wig. It’s a chance to write something completely different and unashamedly over the top – the writing equivalent of drunken karaoke, except you get to make up the words.

Carody Culver and Jackie Ryan will feature at Noted Writers’ Festival 2016 in the following events: MEGA-BAD!SLAM! NO!BISCUIT! versus MEGA-NOTED – Wednesday 16 March, 7:30pm at The Phoenix Pub; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to This Panel – Sunday 20 March, 2pm at Gorman Arts Centre; and Bill Poetries – throughout the festival in various locations.

Canberra-based writer and 2016 Noted artist Bela Farkas's work is heavily influenced by popular culture and current events. Bela's work will also appear as part of Bill Poetries at this year's festival.